Dallas Contemporary director Peter Doroshenko to take over as director of the Ukrainian Museum of New York

The Ukrainian Museum, an arts and history institution in Manhattan’s Ukrainian Village, has named Peter Doroshenko as its new director. Born in Chicago to Ukrainian immigrant parents, Doroshenko has spent the past 11 years as director of the Dallas Contemporary in Dallas, Texas, and in addition to holding positions at SMAK in Ghent, Belgium, the BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art in the UK, at the Institute of Visual Arts in Milwaukee and the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, he was also founding president of the PinchukArtCentre in Kyiv, a position he held from 2006 to 2010, and curator of pavilions Ukrainian Nationals at the Venice Biennale in 2007, 2009 and 2017.

“The Ukrainian Museum has existed for 46 years. It started like many museums in New York; the one that comes to mind is the Jewish Museum, which started as an immigrant museum—the same thing here—and then 30 or 40 years ago they went beyond that. We started this process a few years ago, and we are going beyond being an immigrant museum to encompass everything that has to do with Ukrainian art and culture,” says Doroshenko. “Obviously the war has thrown a giant spotlight on what it is.”

There have been numerous accounts of museums across Ukraine struggling to protect their assets from Russian aggression since the start of the war, which makes the management of the Ukrainian Museum – the “largest museum focused on Ukrainian culture and heritage outside Ukraine,” as Doroshenko explained – a challenge with unique stakes. “Even to this day, Russia targets cultural organizations, especially museums,” he says. “A lot of these museums are in the middle of nowhere with no infrastructure, but they are targets.”

Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska and Museum Director Peter Doroshenko visit the Ukrainian Museum Courtesy of Ukrainian Museum

On Thursday, Doroshenko showed Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska around the museum in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

“I thought if there was a time for me to transition into a very focused organization [on Ukrainian art and history], it was at that time,” says the director, saying he hopes to incorporate other forms of Ukrainian arts and culture, including folk art, of which the country has a rich history, as well as the contemporary art, fashion and other forms of visual art. Culture. He adds that his mission is for the museum “to ultimately be a mirror of what is happening in Ukraine”.

According to the museum, future plans include exhibits by Maya Deren, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Nikita Kadan, Guillermo Kuitca, Janet Sobel, Vladimir Tatlin and Natasha Zinko. Doroshenko succeeds Maria Shust as Director of the Ukrainian Museum.

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